It took a squad of giant humanoid robots and a few massive monsters to finally topple Black Panther at the box office. Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s rock ’em, sock ’em sequel Pacific Rim Uprising is on track to earn about $28 million at 3,708 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, dethroning Disney’s superhero blockbuster after five weeks at the top of the chart.
Although Uprising’s opening is enough to dislodge Black Panther, the sequel is trailing its 2013 predecessor, which bowed to $37.3 million and went on to gross $411 million worldwide. In foreign territories — where the original Pacific Rim proved more popular than at home — Uprising is poised to earn about $122.5 million this weekend, with $65 million coming from China.
Directed by Steven S. DeKnight and produced by original Pacific Rim director Guillermo Del Toro, Uprising stars John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, a second-generation mech pilot who helps defend the planet from massive interdimensional beasts known as kaiju. The movie, which reportedly cost about $150 million to make, took a pounding from critics, while audiences gave it a so-so B CinemaScore.
Black Panther, meanwhile, continues to show impressive staying power with an estimated $16.7 million in North America and $12.9 million overseas. That brings the film’s worldwide total to nearly $1.24 billion and cements its status as the highest-grossing superhero movie ever in the U.S.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as the titular superhero, a.k.a. T’Challa, who leads and protects the secretive, technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. The cast also features Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, and Letitia Wright. The film garnered glowing reviews and an A-plus CinemaScore.
Also holding steady is Roadside Attractions’ faith-based film I Can Only Imagine, which is set to gross about $13.8 million at 2,253 theaters in its second weekend. That figure is good for third place and represents a mere 19 percent drop from its debut last week.
Directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin and starring J. Michael Finley, I Can Only Imagine chronicles the story behind the MercyMe song of the same name, the best-selling Christian single of all time. Like Black Panther, the movie received a rare A-plus CinemaScore.
In addition to Pacific Rim Uprising, this weekend’s new releases include Paramount’s animated movie Sherlock Gnomes, which will earn about $10.6 million; Sony’s biblical drama Paul, Apostle of Christ, which will earn about $5 million; Open Road’s teen romance Midnight Sun, which will earn about $4.1 million; and Bleecker Street and Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Unsane, which will earn about $3.9 million.
Rolling out in limited release is Wes Andseron’s Isle of Dogs. The stop-motion movie, distributed by Fox Searchlight, will take in about $1.6 million at 27 theaters, for an impressive per-screen average of $58,148. Isle will expand in the coming weeks.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 2.5 percent year-to-date. Check out the March 23-25 figures below.
1. Pacific Rim Uprising — $28 million
2. Black Panther — $16.7 million
3. I Can Only Imagine — $13.8 million
4. Sherlock Gnomes — $10.6 million
5. Tomb Raider — $10.4 million
6. A Wrinkle in Time — $8 million
7. Love, Simon — $7.8 million
8. Paul, Apostle of Christ — $5 million
9. Game Night — $4.2 million
10. Midnight Sun — $4.1 million